Thursday, January 27, 2011

We're Gonna Need More Fingers

The governor of Jakarta, Indonesia, Fauzi Bowo, is announcing plans to combat the sea, and the fact that Jakarta is sinking 6 millimeters- two inches- per year due to pumping water from an underground reservoir, by constructing a giant dike, not unlike what you'd see in the Netherlands or New Orleans. Bowo isn't entirely sure how this is going to work as of yet, but there isn't any time to waste. The sea levels in the Jakarta bay area are currently rising at just under the same rate that Jakarta is sinking- 5.7 millimeters per year, far outpacing the global average of 1-2. That adds up to the sea gaining 11.7 millimeters, or four inches, on Jakarta per year. Currently, 40% of Jakarta sits below sea level.

Doesn't sound like much? Imagine getting pelted one day with a storm that dumps four inches of rain on you. Now imagine that the next year, you get hit with an identical storm. And then another one the next year. And another. And another.

Now imagine that none of the water from any of these storms ever, ever drains away. In just three years, that's a foot of water you've been socked with that you're just going to have to live with from that day forward, unless you find a way to get rid of it yourself.

Most of you are fully aware of this, particularly the overseas readers. You're not the ones that analogy was for.

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